Jiří Moskala Named Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Dean
Veteran professor currently chairs Old Testament department (Posted March 7, 2013)

BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor

Jiří Moskala, a veteran Seventh-day Adventist theologian and seminary professor, will become the new Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. He will assume the position on July 1, after current dean Denis Fortin returns to full-time teaching in the Department of Theology & Christian Philosophy at the Seminary beginning fall 2013.

The Andrews University board of trustees announced his appointment on March 5, a university statement reported.

Moskala is professor of Old Testament exegesis and theology and chair of the Department of Old Testament at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, the flagship theological training institution for the movement, which has 17 million members worldwide. The Seminary dean is a member of the General Conference Executive Committee, the International Board of Education, and the Board of Ministerial & Theological Education, to name a few. Additionally, the dean of the Seminary works closely with leadership from both the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

NEW DEAN: Jiří Moskala, a veteran pastor, administrator and educator, will be the new Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, beginning July 1, 2013. He is currently professor of Old Testament exegesis and theology and chair of the Department of Old Testament at the institution. [Photo: Darren Heslop/Andrews University]
“My vision for the Theological Seminary is to be the light for the world and the theological resource for the church,” Moskala said in a statement. “We are here to serve the worldwide church in various capacities, to prepare future church leaders to work and deal with different challenges in order to proclaim the eternal Gospel with conviction, urgency and passion, make a difference for good, and prepare people for the soon second coming of Jesus.”

Born in Cesky Tesin, Czech Republic, Moskala received a Master of Theology in 1979 and a Doctor of Theology in 1990, all from the Comenius Faculty of Protestant Theology (now Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University), Czech Republic. In 1998, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy from Andrews University.

Moskala began his ministry as a pastor for the Czecho-Slovakian Union, serving in this capacity until 1989. When the Communist regime fell after the Velvet Revolution, he established and served as the first principal of the Theological Seminary in Prague for training pastors. Moskala also served in various other capacities including director of the Life and Health Society, Education Department and Health Department for the Czecho-Slovakian Union. Moskala has served as a speaker for many Bible conferences and theological symposia in all 13 divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and has lectured at Adventist universities and colleges around the world.

He is a member of various theological societies including the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, Adventist Theological Society, Chicago Society of Biblical Research, Society of Biblical Literature, and Society of Christian Ethics. Moskala has authored or edited a number of articles and books in both Czech and English. In addition, he has participated in several archaeological expeditions in Tell Jalul, Jordan.

Moskala and his wife, Eva Moskalova, have five grown children and three grandchildren.

“Dr. Moskala also has a strong mission and evangelistic focus,” pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, General Conference president, told Adventist Review. “He understands the tremendous task entrusted to Seventh-day Adventists, God's remnant church, to proclaim the three angels' messages lifting up Christ, His righteousness, His sanctuary service, His ministry in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and His soon coming.  Out of Dr. Moskala's personal and academic experience grows his passion for the mission of the church as it relates to the Christian education process. By God's grace, Dr. Moskala, as the head of the Seminary, will keep in front of seminary students, not only the academic side, which is very important, but also the practical mission side of their training and work.”

Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, a former dean at Andrews and previously vice-chancellor at church-owned Loma Linda University and director of the General Conference’s Education department, noted the new seminary dean’s extensive background.

His “balance of global perspective, scholarship, teaching, and administrative experience make Dr. Moskala eminently well qualified to be the new dean,” she said. “Beyond this, he has an energetic, cheerful personality, and the soul of a pastor.”

Colleague JoAnn Davidson, a professor of theology at the seminary, said Moskala’s “love of Hebrew and his insight into the Hebrew Bible are marvelous. His insights into the biblical text are very rich. He’s an able scholar, a strong statesman, a beloved teacher here and a strong choice. He has a vision for the seminary. I think he will be excellent.”

Ben Schoun, a general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church and chairman of the Andrews University board, said of Moskala, “It was evident during the search process that his colleagues have high regard for him, both for his professional credentials and his friendly and gentle personality.  Being a product of the formerly communist Czech Republic, he does not take for granted the blessings of freedom that we enjoy to value our faith and live according to the dictates of our conscience. I believe that he will lead the Seminary well.”

Said Lael Caesar, a research professor of Hebrew Bible at Andrews who is also an associate editor of Adventist Review magazine, “In his new responsibilities Dr. Moskala should enjoy wide support among the many to whom he has already proved a great blessing.”

And Adventist Review associate editor Gerald Klingbeil praised Moskala’s global perspective: “"Anybody who has ever traveled with Dr. Moskala has known him as somebody who is comfortable transitioning between different cultures. His familiarity with the larger world church outside of North America will undoubtedly be a blessing for the Seminary; his love and passion for this church is contagious and
inspiring.”

The primary mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary is to prepare ministers and teachers for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It offers a Master of Divinity; Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Religion, Religious Education, and Youth & Young Adult Ministry; dual degrees in Master of Arts in Youth & Young Adult Ministry/Master of Social Work and Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work; and five doctoral programs: Doctor of Ministry; Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical & Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Religion, and Religious Education; and Doctor of Theology.

                                                                               -- with reporting from Keri Suarez, Andrews University





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